work through(redirected from worked something through)
1. To remain engaged continuously in some task in order to complete it, especially that which is very tedious or time-consuming. I've been working through a new biography on Thomas Jefferson recently.
2. To put in the required effort to understand or resolve something. Just give me a minute to work through the problem. I know he's got a lot of personal issues that he's working through with a therapist.
3. To strive to move something through some process or situation, especially one that is particularly laborious or difficult. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "work" and "through." Against all odds, the senator was able to work the legislation successfully through congress. I've been trying to work this story through our editorial team, but they're incredibly picky about what they publish.
4. To expend time and energy forcing something through some kind of material, especially that which is particularly tough or impermeable. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "work" and "through." It took me nearly 10 minutes to work the needle through the leather. The butcher struggled to work the cleaver through the hind leg of the animal.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
work(one's way) into something
1. . to get into something tight or small gradually and with effort. He worked himself into the dark corner and hid there for a while. The mouse worked into the crack and got stuck.
2. . to get more deeply involved in something gradually. I don't quite understand my job. I'll work my way into it gradually. Fred worked into the daily routine gradually.
work(one's way) through something
1. . Lit. to work to earn money to pay the bills while one is in college, medical school, law school, etc. I worked my way through college as a waiter.
2. . Fig. to progress through something complicated. I spent hours working my way through the tax forms. I worked through the forms very slowly.
3. . Fig. to struggle through an emotional trauma. When she had finally worked through her grief, she was able to function normally again. Larry worked through the pain.
work something through(something)
1. to guide or push something through a physical barrier. I could hardly work the needle through the tightly woven cloth. I worked the needle through.
2. . to guide or maneuver a law, proposal, motion, through a governing body. The lobbyist was unable to work the law through the legislature. The usual party hacks worked the law through.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To succeed in resolving something through effort: I worked through the problems I was having with my teacher, and now I'm doing better in class.
2. To move something or someone slowly and laboriously through something: The bodyguards worked the politician through the crowd.
3. To proceed or progress slowly and laboriously through something: The explorers worked through the underbrush. The fender of the car was scraping against the tire and slowly worked through the rubber.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.